Friday, January 8, 2010

Their Time is NOW

A good friend of mine dropped by the house today, a visit I surely appreciate since she went out of her way to come at such a cold and dreary weather. Naturally, being mothers to young kids, we started talking about our family lives and the challenges that we face on a daily basis. We shared about the joys of motherhood and the pains we deal with when children are sick or distressed. We also talked about our varying roles to our spouses (which I won't mention since my husband would be reading this blog :)) and we also talked about the struggle to be financially stable given that we are both single-income families. In great lengths we talked about the hesitation in going back to the workforce and having less time with our kids. She also shared her unconscious defiance over her dutch language studies because it was time she could have spent with Keith and I shared my ambivalence over applying for a preschool teaching position in an international school nearby. Not because I might not be qualified but just the thought of teaching young children while Katie and Milos are in a daycare being attended to by someone else makes me feel guilty. I had to agree with what Clarisse said "it is quite unfair that a child's strong competition is that of financial stability". But what to do? How to decide? and where should the compromise be?

Those questions were still fresh from my mind when Boris came home from work. We had our usual laid-back Fridays -not hurrying with the meals since there are no evening classes for me, and Boris busily attending to them while I get some breather. I just so love him dearly for being able to step up a notch and be in-charge of the kids when I am feeling under the weather even though he also had his full day at work. Anyway, after dinner the kids got preoccupied with writing and yes even Milos at age 15 months like scribbling very much! Our walls and sofa covers are testimony to that. There was a point I left the living room and came back only to find the three of them on the sofa. I know I should have taken a picture but the memory is fresh in my mind. Katie was on the left, Milos on the middle and both of them huddled together like they were secretly drawing a plan on how to build a space shuttle to Pluto or something else so serious. With snot coming out of his nose, babbling and all, Milos was busy writing over what Katie was writing and Ate Katie, being the "ate" (tagalog name for older sister) that she is seemed not to mind the intrusion. It was one of the rare times they were both enjoying something without pushing or tugging at each other. Boris on the other hand was just to the side of Milos making sure he wouldn't fall. Such a sight it was! At one point Katie was even chanting "we are a team!". Funny how her almost 3 year old mind can come up with lines like those... and in that moment, when I saw the two together, my eyes went teary and my mind was cleared.

The first chance I got, I shared with Boris what Clarisse and I talked about. I then told him what I realized when I saw the two busily writing together. We might not have money to spare for grand vacations, heck we don't even have money to spare for dining out in restaurants or to frequent movie houses. But we do have enough to provide for our daily needs, a roof over our heads, good food on the table, necessities for the kids, and most important of all, I have the time with the kids. Seeing Katie and Milos like that and being hit with the realization that they grow up so fast, I realized that another year can wait. That I wouldn't want to miss these times with them specially the mornings when I slowly wake up to hear Milos chanting Katie's name, Katie walking up and doing our good morning hug-squeeze-stretch ritual and then singing good morning songs in bed (This is to keep them bubbly and less whiny. I like teaching them not to be grumpy in the morning). These and a lot of other things that we do together throughout the day make it all worth it.

Before writing this entry, my mind raced to a quote I have read more than a dozen times over as a child and as an adult. This quote was placed in a glass frame with photos of my brother and me when we were very young. As a child I have always taken that quote for granted and as an adult I found it hypocritical because I knew it was my father who put that frame together or so I thought it was him. About my father and me that is an entirely different and complicated story... anyway, now as a parent myself, those lines have a deeper meaning. Remembering Gabriel Mistral's quote I knew I made the right choice.

"We are guilty of many errors and many faults but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life.Many things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made and his senses being developed. To him we cannot answer "Tomorrow", his name is "Today"."


  1. Thanks! You did me a favor by writing this. I know the urge to join the bandwagon of working population would come every now and then and it is only normal since we've been used to earning a living and taking pride in it.

    But it would never measure to being with your child when he needs you the most.

    P.S. Had to repost. ;)

  2. thanks Clarisse! we just need to keep supporting each other with our decisions! we can make it! ;)